Monday, October 9, 2017

Improve Your Contact Center Through Agent Training and Development

By Sean Hawkins

Organizations that understand the true value of professional development, culture, innovation, and creativity, also recognize the value of continuously educating their employee base. These organizations are the ones that will be better positioned to adapt to the rapidly changing demands of today’s work environment.  Incorporating professional development within the overall corporate strategy, with so many competing interests and tight budgets, is a challenge. But it should be done! Those companies who value employee development all have a few things in common:
  1. Commitment
  2. Resources
  3. Encouragement
These are the foundation for employee development. Without them, there is no development! How then does a well trained contact center impact customer experience? Well, the obvious answer that comes to mind is swift, accurate resolution. But that is only the tip of the iceberg.

Higher First Contact Resolution
When your staff is well trained, they can provide resolution (when possible) on the first interaction. While there are occasions when FCR cannot be attained, this should not be due to a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the agent. Let's face it, FCR has benefits that far surpass the satisfaction of your customer. There is a cost associated it!

Improved quality and performance
When staff are trained on a continual basis, they move the needle on quality and performance metrics such as CSAT, QA, NPS,QA. These can indicate customer loyalty, as well as their likelihood to be repeat customers. 

Better customer insight
Chances are your staff can easily place a customer's name to a persona. They are aware of the difficult customer, the understanding customer, and so on. With the right training, they can easily apply the best method of communication to those customers. When staff understands their impact on the customer's journey and experience, and the value their interactions have on strengthening the relationship with the brand, they will become stake holders. At this point, they are a wealth of knowledge and information concerning the habits and attitudes of customers. 

Improved morale
Why is training and development important? Two primary reasons are the creation of a talented workforce, and agent loyalty. On the other hand, numerous studies have shown employees who are not receiving consistent training and development are not happy or efficient. They impact customer churn, reduce morale, and cost more money and time over the life of employment. So, for many reasons employee development is important.

I have over 15 years of progressive call center leadership and experience in the public, private and government sectors.

I have led or consulted contact centers of various sizes across numerous industries. Additionally, I’ve implemented new technology and products, while maintaining award-winning contact centers.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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